Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Comparative Literature


Professor Christine Roulston


In this thesis, I compare the short stories, “Boys and Girls” and “The Albanian Virgin”, by Alice Munro, with two films, La Mala Educación and La Piel Que Habito, by Pedro Almodóvar. This comparison analyzes how these authors conceive gender as a doing and a performance, and as culturally constructed rather than biologically determined. My main theoretical framework is Judith Butler’s theory of gender performativity as developed in Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. In my first chapter, I compare “Boys and Girls” with La Mala Educación, and in the second chapter, I compare “The Albanian Virgin” with La Piel Que Habito, to illustrate the multiple ways in which gender is constructed according to Munro and Almodóvar. I argue that both Alice Munro and Pedro Almodóvar not only perceive gender as non-essential, but they also locate various possibilities of resistance through gender performance, drag, impersonation and masquerade.